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LEAF Board of Trustees

Meet the people on LEAF's Board of Trustees

Stephen Fell, Chairman

Stephen runs the family farming business in the Vale of York growing turf, root crops and a sheep breeding enterprise. Stephen is Managing Director of Lindum Turf Ltd, growing specialist turf for a wide range of uses. Stephen became Chairman of LEAF in 2009 and he is also a Trustee of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust.

Stephen has a particular interest in marketing and communication and a strong commitment to demonstrating that profitable farming can go hand in hand with responsible environmental stewardship. Stephen is a past Nuffield Scholar and has travelled widely “rarely coming back from an overseas visit without new ideas for the business”.

Ian Ashbridge, Partner at Bidwells

Ian's role at Bidwells brings together practical agricultural management and consultancy. He has direct responsibility for 1000 hectares of arable and grassland in central England and oversees a further 600 hectares under management agreements. Ian is qualified in agronomy and trained in agricultural business management at the Royal Agricultural College. Ian has advised a range of rural businesses on single farm payment, agri-environmental schemes and crop management issues.

Andrew Burgess, Director of Produce World Group

Andrew is Director of Produce World Group – one of the largest vegetable growers in Europe, growing in excess of 20,000 acres. After attending agricultural college, Andrew spent a year travelling the world undertaking farm work at locations around the globe.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and works closely with customers and a number of agricultural bodies within the industry.   He has a keen interest in soils and in educating retailers of the benefits of long term thinking.

Andrew is keen on Alpine Mountaineering and still enjoys playing rugby.  

Professor Chris Collins, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at University of Reading

Chris’ research interests focus predominately on the fate of pollutants in the soil-plant system. His work is undertaken in collaboration with industry, regulators and academics, to determine the impacts of environmental exposure of humans and other biota to these toxic chemicals.

More recently, Chris has developed an interest in sustainable soil management. He has authored over 70 refereed publications, written a number of commercial reports and several book chapters.

Sara Eppel, Director Eppel Sustainability Ltd

Sara was Head of Farming Strategy Innovation and Sustainability at Defra until 2016, where she lead the development of the Government’s 25 Year Food and Farming Plan, oversaw delivery of the Agri Tech Strategy, research and innovation, and was responsible for policy on climate change and agriculture.  Sara was previously head of Rural Policy in Defra and head of Sustainable Consumption and Production. Sara now co-directs Eppel Sustainability Ltd providing sustainability consultancy to major projects such as HS2, and to international organisations such as the World Bank. Before joining Defra, Sara was Director of Policy for the UK Sustainable Development Commission, and at the Energy Saving Trust. She worked for the International Energy Agency and OECD, as well as an earlier career in the civil service at the Department of the Environment and No10.

Nigel Garbutt, past Chairman of GLOBALG.A.P.  

Nigel spent 12 years at GLOBALG.A.P before stepping down as Chairman in 2013. He held a number of senior management positions within the UK supermarket chain, Safeway for 13 years and prior to that, spent five years in Food Law Enforcement with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. He was a founding Director of the Assured Produce and Assured Chicken Companies and a Director of the Seafish Industry Authority.

Philip Huxtable, Director of Arable Production, JSR Farms

Philip is Director of Arable Production at JSR Farms, which is also a LEAF Demonstration Farms.  JSR is involved in property, arable farming, commercial pig production and pig genetics. A former agricultural student at Seale-Hayne, Philip joined JSR Farms in 1976. An agronomist for 30 years, Philip has a wealth of farming experience.  He has a keen interest in getting the environmental balance right between profitable large scale farming whilst caring for the environment.  Philip joined the LEAF Board in 2014. 

Rt. Hon Michael Jack CBE, Food and Agriculture Advisor to HSBC Bank

Michael has been Food and Agriculture Adviser to HSBC since 2010. He was an agriculture Minister and chaired the Defra Select Committee during his parliamentary careers and has worked at Proctor and Gamble, Marks and Spencer and LO Jeffs Ltd, a fresh produce supply company.  As a LEAF Board member, Michael works to ensure LEAF makes further progress in its objective to make farming and food production more sustainable through the principles of IFM.  He has a particular interest in soil improvement and water management. 

Michael enjoys long distance cycling and competed, in 2014, in the worlds largest participation cycle race - the Cape Argus in South Africa.  He also enjoys growing his own vegetables!

Cedric Porter, Director at Supply Intelligence

Cedric is an independent agricultural supply chain consultant. He provides agricultural information and support to a range of clients including Marks & Spencer, Massey Ferguson and the RSPB. He also produces a weekly market briefing for the international potato industry. He has edited a number of agricultural magazines in the UK and the Netherlands. In 2012 he was the Chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference and is also a governor of his local primary school. 

Richard Quinn, Chief Executive, Farmcare

Richard is Chief Executive of Farmcare, the UK’s biggest lowland farmer. Richard has been involved in the Food Industries for most of his career with over 17 years’ experience in the sector including manufacturing and retailing.   He has a broad range of expertise in business management, strategic planning and operational development.  Richard joined the LEAF Board in 2014.  He wants to drive forward change by championing sustainable farming, educating the public about seasonality, healthy eating and the environment and knowledge sharing through the LEAF Demonstration Farm network.

Richard is a keen walker and in the last ten years has climbed over 25,000ft and walked over 1,000 miles for various charities raising over £45k.

Richard Whitlock, Owner, Richard Whitlock Ltd

Richard has more than 35 years’ experience working for family and corporate grain businesses, gaining a wealth of knowledge in domestic and overseas grain trading. He developed the first merchant ‘Grain Marketing Pool’ and introduced other grain trading tools for the benefit of both farmers and consumers. He has also participated in, and led, overseas trading missions to Spain, Portugal, NW Europe and China.  A past chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds board member, he is currently Chairman of Camgrain’s crop marketing committee and provides crop marketing advice to other clients. He has been a LEAF Board member since 2013. Richard has a particular interest in business development, supply chain initiatives and connecting processors with farming.  

Richard is a keen cyclist and enjoys sailing.